Keeping it “normal”

With all of the changes, moving away, getting settled somewhat, then having a Cancer diagnosis, moving to yet another location (small house with 6 people one of whom I do not have a very good relationship due to an anger management issue- another story), major surgery, and no day care or kids to play with and I had the challenge of trying to minimize the stress for my children and keep a routine of sorts. I was stressed out of my mind- worried about my husband and whether this man I love so much and who is my best friend and the loving father of our two children would survive and trying to stay positive and care for him as he was feeling pain… Scared about the possibility of life without him for my children and myself… Trying to explain what was happening to my 2 and 4 year old, trying to keep them busy and away from their dad who normally is so active but was suddenly physically unable (at least keep them from jumping on him and managing their expectations about daddy’s activity level)…..stress of our living situation …Being the only one who can care for my children and not having a break….

I am grateful that I have been able to spend a lot of time with my children although I wish it was under different circumstances. I am thankful that my kids are the best huggers in the world— no matter how shitty I might feel a good long squeeze from my kids puts a smile on my face and lifts my spirits. We were thrust into a tragic situation and our kids adjusted well, they had a few tantrums and expressed their sadness and stress in their own ways- my son had a few tantrums and also asked lots of questions to try to make sense of this in his way. My daughter (2), cried A LOT, needed her blanket more and needed to snuggle more and had tantrums like I have never seen from either of my kids… But she would release the emotions and then visibly feel better…. Both needed Mommy more and more and had a hard time leaving my side… How scary it must be for them….


The original biopsy diagnosis was retro peritoneal Sarcoma…which has a fairly low survival rate.. I was terrified but had to keep it together for everyone, my husband, my kids, my mom-in-law, friends etc. I made up my mind that the ONLY option was kicking this thing’s ass. So, immediate surgery was scheduled to remove the mass, which was quite large in the retro peritoneal area. My husband and I had a very intensely emotion and intimate conversation the night before surgery because there was a chance he would not survive— we shared so much- he is truly my soul mate, my teammate, my partner in all that we have lived, loved and endured and te idea that he might be gone is so tragic- not just for me and my children and our families but anyone he has or would encounter because he has a way of bringing out the best in people and he makes a difference in so many lives just by being the wonderful person he is… He also said something that I don’t believe many in this world can say– he said he has no regrets, he felt his life, although short, was full and rich with experience and love and he wouldn’t change a thing. Being faces with mortality gives everyone involved a reality check… Life truly is too short to sweat the small stuff… Live life and accept yourself – strengths and weaknesses.

Surgery started early in the morning and It was expected to be 6- 8 hours – it was 8. The entire day felt like déjà vu with my moms surgery… She was supposed to have an 8 hour surgery and after 30 minutes they came out and gave her a 50/50 chance of survival… So I was on edge even more – and the seriousness of the surgery would have been enough. I felt sick every time a patient number was called because I desperately did not want them to call me over early. I also had to keep it together for my mom in law who was extraordinarily negative but we managed to find a common ground. When the surgeon called us in to speak with him after 8 hours of surgery the news was good- they removed the tumor and felt they were able to get it all (which is the key to beating Sarcoma), however, hey had to remove his kidney, graft his vena cava, and pull it away from his aorta. I started to cry a blubbering cry that I could not control because I was so relieved that he was ok and I hugged the surgeon…

I got to see him in the ICU and I just wanted to hug him and tell him everything was going to be ok… He had so many tubes but seeing him briefly open his eyes and look at me I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and felt his fighting spirit kick into high gear. I settled for rubbing his arm and telling him, “I love you so much and everything is going to be just fine”…

Life changing diagnosis

Well, my life has made a very sharp and drastic turn upside down and inside out….my husband was diagnosed with cancer and it has been a long and crazy couple of months.  It is a complicated story with lots of changes in diagnosis along the way so I am going to share this journey from my perspective as the wife of a patient and mother of two very young children 2 1/2 and almost 5 years old.   I hope this will help my sanity and maybe a few others who may stumble upon this as well.

Let me start by saying out loud that this sucks and it is amazing how hearing that 6 letter word can bring you to your knees and change your life in so many ways… Terrifying, yes but you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you…. More to come on this

We were settling into our new home (to which we had moved 2 months prior) and my husband started to have a pain in his lower abdomen that he thought might be a hernia. I had to go out of town and returned the day he was admitted to the hospital… They had done an ultrasound and found the tumor but there were no other symptoms… Not even in bloodwork…. He ended up getting a stent from his kidney to his bladder to try to stop the pain which was quickly becoming unbearable but it only seemed to worsen the pain. Then we were referred to another doctor in another area and had to crash with family for a while.